Capital Punishments: Daryl avoids being under Parisian lock and Quai…

In the heart of Paris, Daryl goes looking for his friends, but finds a lot of obstacles in his way...

After the attack at the Demimonde, Daryl is separated from both Isabelle and Laurent and has to survive in the city sewers as he makes his way back to the other survivors.  But the streets above and the sewers below are equally dangerous. Reunited with Isabelle, Daryl works out where Laurent may have gone, however tourist attractions aren’t what they used to be and danger is never far behind…

And others are now looking for Laurent as well…



The last we saw of Daryl Dixon, he had plummeted through the collapsing rooftops and into the darkness below. Our first sight of him this week is him trapped in the sewers as a group of the undead converge on Laurent… and walk straight past him. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a dream sequence, though it does speak to the way that some people regard Laurent as a potential Messiah. (Could his unusual birth – so closely echoing Ellie’s in The Lat of Us, give us an indication he could be immune from the virus in the same way – time will tell). Daryl awakens from the dream/vision underwater ( a neat trick if you can pull it off) and manages to escape the clutches of some damp undead specimens… but he’s still separated from his allies and needs directions. They come from Antoine, the Pigeon Man (played by Dominique Pinon from Alien: Resurrection and Amélie) and it’s sad to see him killed off with similar speed to his Dead City female counterpart, though Daryl pointedly gets to honour his last request and release his feathered friends to the skies.

Though television location work requires a regular sleight of hand, there’s no doubt that the latest episode of Daryl Dixon is, indeed, shot in the heart of Paris. Yes, those Eiffel Tower shots and its decrepit frame have to be work of impressive post-production techniques, but for those au faire with France’s capital city and its depictions in plenty of television shows and films, some of the shots near the Seine are just unmistakable as the real thing. There will be more than a handful of fans who, seeing Daryl and co boarding a barge at the Quai de la Tournelle, will have been transported back to the days when Duncan MacLeod moored a similar craft in exactly the same place during the Highlander series. It’s a tribute to the skills of Walking Dead spin-off’s production and post-production departments that it has managed to shoot at a contemporary tourist location in the heart of a metropolis and make it seem otherwise deserted. (Indeed, in many ways it’s reminiscent of 28 Days Later‘s post apocalyptic scene on London’s Westminster Bridge). There’s even some carefully-edited shots with Notre Dame in the background – in decent shape – and it takes an ironic second to realise that in the real world it fared less well…

Quinn (Adam Nagaitis) is very much being played as a pragmatic opportunist. He seems ruthless and untrustworthy, but there’s plenty of potential to see him as an anti-hero if he survives… after all, the truth is he’s every right to be pissed off with Isabelle for both deserting him all those years ago and for hiding the fact that he has a son (Laurent). While he seems happy to make a deal with Genet that will likely imperil Daryl, he’s likely playing both sides against the middle in a way that will ensure his own survival and bring Isabelle back to him by default (which, by episode’s end, it does, at least in the short-term).

The supposedly uber-baddie Genet (Anne Charrier) hasn’t really been fleshed out beyond her fascistic wardrobe and clipped manner (a majority of her dialogue delivered in English with a French accent whether justified or not). The first real sign of genuine menace comes from something we don’t actually see but is certainly implied. A crying baby repeatedly interrupts her during attempts to persuade stragglers of the underground fighters’ enclave to comply. She eventually takes the child from its mother, clasping it closely and then… we cut to another scene. Certainly, you were waiting for the unthinkable and that may have happened off-screen.

Daryl Dixon continues to be a salient lesson in alt-history by being able to draw on the loation’s own history and the show is rightly proving its worth and one of the better Walking Dead spin-offs to date…

'Daryl Dixon  S01 EP4 ∙ La Dame de Fer'  (AMC review)
'Daryl Dixon S01 EP4 ∙ La Dame de Fer' (AMC review)
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Direction
  • Production Design / VFX